Orange Hockey Incorporate (OHI) hopes the sport will be transformed as it looks to replace its top field for the first time in almost 35 years.
The Smith Field at the hockey centre was built in 1991 and apart from a resurfacing in 2003, has largely remained the same sand-based turf since.
While cutting-edge for its time, the hockey world has moved on with water-based and hybrid surfaces, such as the Davis Field, now the standard.
The association will now begin a long-held ambition of rebuilding the field after securing a NSW government grant of $300,000, alongside existing contributions of $500,000.
The total cost of the project is expected to be $1.8 million and will include modifying the perimeters to bring it up to international standard, flattening the 'turtle shell' bulge in the middle of the pitch and installing LED lights alongside a new hybrid surface.
Chair of the OHI planning group Darryn Marjoram said it was exciting to finally have the ball rolling with the association still seeking $400,000 through sponsorship and other grants.
"This has been a dream for a lot of players," he said.
"The hard working community and members have raised roughly $500,000 so we are half way and I think we can start the project and raise more money through sponsorship and other grants. We've also put in for other grants just recently."
What's the difference?
Marjoram, who is an Australian over 55s representative, said the current field needed several changes to bring it up to modern standards in line with the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
"It will be a hybrid water base and it will be to FIH specification," he said.
"So at the moment, the current fences are too close to the field, which is dangerous.
"People can bump into them, there's not enough time to pull up and the turtle shell is too aggressive, which means sometimes the ball can roll off to the side very easily."
How will it change hockey in Orange?
In addition to improving the surface for local competitions as well as Central West Premier League, the upgrade will finally allow the association to host state tournaments and create another revenue stream.
"We've had verbal assurances from the masters community," Marjoram said.
"They've assured us if we had a water field here we could host a state title and we talked to our friends in Port Macquarie who hosted a recent state title.
"They quantified about a 400 per cent revenue increase to Port Macquarie for local businesses.
"So we think it will benefit not just us but the local business community as well through accommodation, coffees, the wine region and all the rest of it."
OHI is sitting down with Polytan Turf in January with a timeline for construction expected later in 2024.